OCPS Executive Director
“We are committed to provide evidence-based prevention strategies for youth in our schools and community. Promoting prevention will build community capacity, improve protective factors increasing the resiliency of youth to have the skills necessary to make healthy decisions regarding substance use and abuse”
– Mollie Stevens
I believe that I was drawn to the field of prevention because of my love of my community and the people within that community. I was born and raised in Lawrence County, Southern Ohio and experienced changes both good and bad during my years here. Those hometown roots have led to a compassion for betterment of individual health and wellness as well as living spaces. Being a team player is something I learned in school but in Prevention I acquired wisdom in the statement “Nothing for us without us”. As an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist I am a steward for my community which is a title that makes me proud.
Before I came into prevention, I started my career as a Japanese language teacher. I’m a lifelong learner and come from a long line of educators, but in the classroom I saw that young people were in need of more support than curriculum can provide. So I took a leap of faith and left the field that I love, and joined the Impact Prevention team! With a motto to always stay open-minded, my goal is to help youth find their voice and know that voice is important regardless of their background!
As a shy young teen, I was convinced by an outgoing friend to join a youth-led team taking a stand against tobacco usage and nicotine dependence. Being surrounded by peers and adults that told me my voice could make a difference made such an impact on me. Over the years, my voice has definitely gotten louder and I enjoy using it to empower the youth I encounter every day. Today’s youth are kind, brilliant and resilient. I am constantly amazed by the change they are creating in their schools and communities.
When I was young I had a lot of negative influences and many adverse childhood experiences that led me down a very negative path. I’m confident my life is much different now solely based on a few positive influences, and seeing the love of Jesus poured into my life at just the right time. I simply want to pay that forward to positively influence as many lives as possible, and prevention gives me a sense of fulfilling that passion.
I have always wanted to give back to the community, and prevention work has allowed me to do so. I am passionate about empowering youth to be happy, healthy, and successful. From an after-school program for elementary students to youth-led leadership teams, prevention allows adult allies to work closely with youth leaders to better the community and support their peers. In addition, I look forward to becoming more involved in multiple aspects of prevention.
I grew up attending after-school and prevention programming. It was a huge positive influence on me. I was taught so much, including that it’s ok to be me, no matter how goofy or eccentric that is. I am passionate about building up youth and the community and hopefully passing on the positive influence that I experienced. I carried that hope with me through college and in several jobs ranging from retail to running another after-school program. I honestly believe I would not be the person I am today if not for the folks who made that impact on me.
I am a graduate from Shawnee State University with a bachelors in middle school education. My goal is to have an impact on the lives of the youth in the local community. I got into prevention to have a hand in making a change toward a better future.